Drew Brees completed what may be the greatest individual achievement in an already legendary NFL career when the Saints quarterback became the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader, surpassing Peyton Manning’s 71,940 career yards.
With Hall of Fame staffers at the ready to escort the record-breaking ball to Canton, Ohio, the NFL honored Brees’ accomplishment with a short stoppage on Monday Night Football and Brees’ loyal New Orleans fans showered him in deserved praise. Brees holds his share of records in the league, but this one undoubtedly stands out.
While Brees enters what’s supposed to be the twilight of his career at 39 years of age, he’s remained one of the best quarterbacks in the league. His Saints are a strong force in the NFC, hungry to avenge last season’s heartbreaking playoff loss to Minnesota behind Brees’ elite play that’s shown no signs of fading.
Brees is no stranger to being overlooked. Overshadowed through his career by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the former second-round pick got replaced in his first NFL stop and won the Super Bowl as an underdog. Now, not only is he furthering his place on the Mount Rushmore of all-time quarterbacks, but he’s forming a career worthy of real consideration as the GOAT.
Brees has racked up more passing yards than any other quarterback in the history of a game that’s predicated Let’s take a closer look at where Brees ranks in the most important statistical categories for quarterbacks.
Here’s where Brees has some catching up to do — although not too much.
While he’s still ahead of these greats on a per-game basis, Brees still needs over 40 scores to catch The Sheriff’s unbelievable 539 career TD passes. This one could be complicated; Tom Brady just recently hit the 500-touchdown plateau, and holds the slightest edge over Brees.
Assuming both Brady and Brees have more than another season left in them to catch Peyton’s mark, this record will probably come down to whoever retires first.
This may be the most “Drew Brees” statistic out there.
In NFL history, there have been nine 5,000-yard passing seasons. Drew Brees has five of them.
Cherish this stat while you can, of course. This season, there are eight quarterbacks on pace to reach 5,000 yards as of Week 5. The way that the passing game has evolved in the NFL lends itself to many more 5,000-yard seasons, but Brees will always be known as the trail-blazer for incredible yardage numbers at the position.
The record for most passing yards isn’t the only one that Brees shattered in this young 2018 season.
Earlier this season, he did the inevitable and passed Brett Favre to become the quarterback with the most all-time completions. While he’s more even with the likes of Manning and Brady in terms of touchdowns and yards, it’s obvious that Brees has been in more pass-heavy offenses to get such a separation in completions.
This era is rightfully known as the golden age of quarterbacks, and no piece of data can show that better than the top five for all-time passer rating.
Since this one is an average and not cumulative, you’ll see a greater mix of today’s QBs. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads the way, with Russell Wilson making for a bit of a surprise ahead of Brady and Tony Romo.
Unfortunately for Brees, there isn’t enough time to bolster his average passer rating that much — but sticking in the top five above the likes of Peyton is still quite a feat.
According to the NFL, quarterback is the only position in which the win-loss record is officially documented. Whether QB’s like it or not, they’re not remembered for the letters “TD”, but rather, “W.”
Brees has plenty of regular-season W’s to his credit, but he’s still a ways away from Brady and Manning. He would need well over 50 more dubs to threaten the record, and that’s tough to envision for a 39-year-old quarterback – no matter how good of shape he’s in.
Of course, it doesn’t help that that fellow at No. 1 is showing no signs of slowing down, either.